Canton begins to explore rebuilding flood-damaged facilities

In addition to the devastating loss of life and tremendous damage to private property, Tropical Storm Fred caused millions in damage to facilities owned and maintained by the Town of Canton. During a Jan. 27 all-day budget retreat, town staff and elected officials began to make some decisions on what, how and when to rebuild.

Pay to play: recreation spending a burden for some small towns

Among the various spending categories in many municipal budgets — general government, public safety and the like — one can usually find some amount devoted to recreation. 

Can Canton’s Colonial come back?

Many Fridays a small group of longtime Canton residents meet up informally at the town’s historical museum on Park Street as soon as it opens in the morning to peruse the artifacts and talk about the town’s tomorrow, the town’s today and the town’s yesterday.

As they do, they sometimes come to the topic of the historic Colonial Revival-style building located just across the street since 1932 — the aptly named Colonial Theater. 

Winter Concert Series welcomes Snyder Family Band

art snyderfamAcclaimed bluegrass act Balsam Range will welcome the Snyder Family Band as part of their Winter Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Colonial Theatre in Canton.

Colonial Theatre enters third act

art frWhen he thinks of the Colonial Theatre, Zeb Smathers sees untapped potential.

“There are so many things it can used for — movies, concerts, plays, school productions,” he said. “It’s been a goal of mine from early on to use the Colonial for not just more things, but also in new ways.”

All friends were strangers at one time

art frJohn Driskell Hopkins was driving in his truck when it struck him.

It was a song. Radiating from his satellite radio, it sounded like a fond memory he once knew. The voices and melody were familiar, but he hadn’t ever heard it before, and had no idea who wrote it. He looked at the radio. A band name appeared in the digital display: Balsam Range.

An evening with Balsam Range: Pulling the strings of bluegrass, brotherhood and backwoods tradition

coverThe strings of tradition and progress echoed from the back alley.

Upon further inspection (and a lone door cracked open), the harmonic tone was radiating from the mandolin of Darren Nicholson.

Curly Hollow: From Canton to Nashville and back

By DeeAnna Haney • Smoky Mountain News Intern

Although Curly Hollow might sound like the perfect picnic area down some country road, it’s really more a product of imagination than a destination. In fact, the members of the band Curly Hollow aren’t even sure if such a place truly exists — the name simply resonated with them during their search for a title.

The country-pop band has come a long way since the members first met at a showcase in Nashville in July 2010. Now, less than a year later, members Keil Smith, Zakk Merrill, Charlie Lance, Chris Pruett and Ryan Riddle are celebrating the release of their first extended play record, “Love in Theory.”

Curly Hollow’s sound is mellow and modern at the same time, with a touch of many different musical styles. Each member contributes pieces from varying musical influences such as The Temptations, Jason Aldean, and Miles Davis.

“We try to blend different genres together – jazz, rock, country, blues – and just put our own twist to it and it’s fun that way,” said Zakk Merrill, the band’s bass guitarist.

Lead guitarist Charlie Lance tries to ensure the band’s sound stays original and fresh, not sticking with the same chord progressions in each song. He often incorporates what he learns while practicing for his jazz studies classes into songs for the band.

Most reminiscent of the sounds of Rascal Flatts, Curly Hollow’s songs have attracted traditional country music lovers as well as those who normally steer clear of the genre. The band believes they appeal to a wide variety of musical palettes because of the genre infusions and the passion behind each song.

“It’s one thing when you see a band get on stage but their hearts aren’t really in it,” Lance said. “But there is something cool to be said about seeing somebody do something they’re extremely passionate about and that’s what we try to do.”

Already signed to a Christian label before joining Curly Hollow, lead vocalist Keil Smith said he always harbored a penchant for country music. With an admittedly sappy songwriting style, Smith’s lyrics come directly from the heart.

Each member typically contributes to the songwriting process, although Lance has a difficult time putting his thoughts into words. His preference, he said, is to evoke emotion through his guitar.

“Love in Theory” is a collection of six original songs each exploring love in the best and worst forms, from falling in love to heart break. The EP features a satisfying sample of Curly Hollow’s various sounds such as the rock-and-roll duet with Ami Pruett “Home of Glass,” the simple acoustic guitar accompaniment to “Because,” and the traditionally country twang in “fairytale.”

Spectators attending a Curly Hollow show should expect a high-energy concert, Smith said, because the band is eager to play on stage for the first time. His hope is that the band’s chemistry and camaraderie will radiate through the songs.

“When a band does a good job on stage I feel like I know every member when I leave because they put so much into their performance and that’s what we want,” Lance said.

Visit www.reverbnation.com/curlyhollow or iTunes to preview Curly Hollow’s music.

 

See Curly Hollow at the Colonial

Curly Hollow will play its debut concert with opening act Rewind Blue at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Colonial Theatre in Canton. A CD release party will follow the concert. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Colonial Theatre or at Simple Taste Grill in Canton.

Balsam Range to play Canton’s Colonial Dec. 17

Balsam Range will perform a concert with Tony Rice and Bobby Hicks at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 at the Colonial Theater in Canton.

Balsam Range is renowned bluegrass band based in Haywood County whose members include Buddy Melton, Tim Surrett, Marc Pruett, Caleb Smith and Darren Nicholson. Each one has extensive music credentials, and each brings a well-rounded, unique contribution to the fresh sound of this new bluegrass band.

The Canton concert includes nationally known artists Tony Rice and Bobby Hicks for what Balsam Range’s web site is calling a “Christmas party.”

Admission is $15. For tickets and information call 828.235.2760 or visit www.balsamrange.com.

Local favorite Sons of Ralph play fundraiser for Canton Lions Club Aug. 28

Asheville-based mountain and bluegrass group Sons of Ralph will perform a fundraising concert for the Canton Lions Club from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the historic Colonial Theatre in downtown Canton.

The Sons of Ralph play a wide variety of music, including many original songs. Their unique sound, which has been described as “Americana,” incorporates traditional mountain music, bluegrass, country and Western, folk, and classic rock. As a testament to the band’s popularity, readers of The Mountain Xpress have voted The Sons of Ralph “Best Local Band” for eight of the last 10 years, including 2007 and 2008.

All proceeds from the concert go to the Canton Lions Club, an active service organization dedicated to serving the people and community of Canton. As part of its continuing mission to serve, the Canton Lions Club provides college scholarships for deserving high school students, supports community organizations and donates thousands of dollars to local schools and charities. The club also sponsors Canton’s annual Labor Day rides.

$10. Tickets can be picked up (with cash or check made out to the Canton Lions Club) in Canton at Clay Dangerfield’s State Farm Insurance Office at 80 Crossroad Hill next to Ingles or at American Cleaners at 10 Penland St. in downtown. Advanced tickets can be mailed if ordered before Aug. 21.

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Canton Lions Club President Patrick Willis at 828.279.6195.

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